Techsphere building blimps for Army testing

ATLANTA, Ga., 14 January 2005. Techsphere Systems International (TSI), a Georgia-based manufacturer of low-, mid- and high-altitude spherical airships, announced that its production of airships is ahead of schedule at its manufacturing facility in Columbus, Ga.

Jan 17th, 2005

ATLANTA, Ga., 14 January 2005. Techsphere Systems International (TSI), a Georgia-based manufacturer of low-, mid- and high-altitude spherical airships, announced that its production of airships is ahead of schedule at its manufacturing facility in Columbus, Ga.

Techsphere expects that its first 94-foot airship will roll off the production line sometime in late February or early March.

"The results we have been achieving with our Columbus workforce are outstanding," said Techsphere Executive Vice President John Youngbeck. "Columbus has a significant pool of skilled textile workers who we have been able to train, and they have been productive for us from the very start. We are operating about 25 percent ahead of projected pace on our airship production line. The expedited production, combined with the strong support from officials at nearby Fort Benning to flight test our airships, will allow us to deploy them more quickly."

Techsphere's first airships will be over 90 feet in diameter, nearly as tall as a 10-story building, and will fly as high as 20,000 feet. This altitude is approximately four times the maximum altitude flown by advertising blimps, normally seen floating around athletic stadiums and sporting events.

Techsphere's airships are made of a high tensile strength fabric similar to that used in bullet-proof vests. A unique feature of the Techsphere airships is that they are perfectly spherical, unlike most conventional airships, which are elongated.

All of the control, power supply and propulsion systems of the Techsphere airship are located inside the airship, or "sphere." Another unique feature of the Techsphere airship is that it can fly with no pilot or crew, using automated flight controls.

Techsphere's airships are being marketed to government customers, who are interested in the airships for applications such as homeland security, and commercial entities like cellular or wireless communications companies. Airships used in this manner will act as high altitude cell towers, which will be able to provide coverage to entire states with one high flying airship.

Techsphere's training program was jointly developed with the assistance of the Georgia Quickstart program that provides training and re-training tools for companies statewide. "Quickstart has been an invaluable asset to us," said Youngbeck, who added that The Georgia Department of Labor was instrumental in securing the company's initial production workforce. "Mikell Fryer and his staff at the Columbus office of the Georgia Department of Labor have been actively involved in our recruiting efforts to help meet the manpower requirements of a demanding production schedule."

Sierra Nevada Corp. provides the technology, payload and sensor integration for TSI's government and commercial clients as well as develops and manufactures innovative, high-quality electronic systems with numerous technical applications, including unmanned systems. For more information, see www.sncorp.com.

TSI's global marketing partner is Cyber Aerospace Corp. (www.cyberaerospace.com), a subsidiary of Proxity Digital Networks (PDNW) (www.proxity.com). For more information, visit www.techsphere.us.

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